Ada Abroad: Living and Working in Germany

An online journal recording two years spent as a Fulbright/Pedagogical Exchange Service Teaching Assistant at secondary schools in Germany. (2003-2004 I was in a village near Bautzen; 2004-2005 I will be in Nordrhein-Westfalen.)

Name:
Location: Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

I'm an American living in Germany, working as a foreign language assistant at a secondary school. Future plans: getting my Ph.D. (probably in Germanic Linguistics), becoming a professor, living an ethical and meaningful life.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Escape!!! Escape!!!

After a few weeks back in the village, I'm itching to get out again. Like a hamster in an aquarium, I've been searching my environment for weak points that might possible allow me to break out... Under cover of darkness, I fill my cheek pouches with corn kernels and sunflower seeds, shimmy up my water bottle, push up the mesh lid imprisoning me in my cage and scurry to freedom!

(All who agree that I pushed that last metaphor way too far, say 'aye.')

The weak point in my environment: two weeks of mid-winter break! So actually it is perfectly legal for me to get the hell out of the Oberlausitz for a while. I will, however, be leaving under cover of darkness anyway-- I have to take the 6:30 a.m. bus to Bautzen tomorrow in order to make my 7:45 train.

Unlike my childhood pet Sparkles, who always seemed to vacation under the refrigerator, I will be heading to western Germany: first I'll be heading to Düsseldorf to hang out with my friend Alina and experience Karneval (the German version of Mardi Gras-- less toplessness, more beer), then on to Hannover to see my friend Jim and the cool teacher I met in Weimar. After that I'm going to go to Hamburg for a few days and take a side trip to Lübeck, where I can explore Thomas Mann's childhood home.

If all goes well, I'm also going to spend a weekend in Amsterdam! That's right, I'm heading to the Netherlands.

(Note to lurkers with small vocabularies: the Netherlands is a small, low-lying country bordering Germany and Belgium, also known as Holland. It should not be confused with your nether regions, which are your reproductive organs, also known as your private parts, or with the Netherworld, which is where the ancient Greeks and Romans went when they died, and is also known as Hades.) (Please note that is a note to lurkers. Of course I would not wish to insult any of my regular readers by insinuating that they don't know the difference between Holland and Sheol.)

The escape takes place tomorrow... I've got a lot to do in the meantime. For one thing, I have to pack my cheek pouches-- I mean suitcases...

See? I told you I needed a vacation!

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